Resource Nights: Business Models and Money Concepts

This recap of the Business Plan Practicum (Resource Nights) course at UW features three tips all entrepreneurs need to know from Ambika Singh, CEO of Armoire.Each week you can read a recap of the previous Entrepreneurship Resource Nights (Business Plan Practicum) session. This past week, instructor John Zagula (founder, Ignition Capital) led a class focused on business models and money concepts with UW alum, financial analysis pro and venture capitalist Cameron Borumand of Ignition Partners and Steve Hooper of Ethan Stowell Restaurants as special guest speakers. Reminder: Lectures are recorded and the links posted to our website weekly.


“Money is usually attracted, not pursued.” – Jim Rohn

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” – Woody Allen


This session focused on business models and the essential topic of money. First, we talked about three key money concepts: pies (that need to be big enough and that you need to share and/or grow), boxes (into and out of which key stuff like money and resources for your business flow) and pickles (managing expectations vs. reality).

We heard from UW alum, financial analysis pro, and venture capitalist Cameron Borumand of Ignition Partners on how to create and manage the numeric case for your business from the top down. And then we heard from strategy, finance, and startup veteran Steve Hooper of Ethan Stowell Restaurants on how to create, tell and test the story of your business. This includes creating your business model based on unit economics.

These two wonderful people went on to work live with a few of our surprise student team participants that had businesses ranging from bras to chocolates to organic farms in China. First, they worked to to build out both their top down case of total available and total addressable markets, as well as test assumptions and how to discover the key success levers along the way. Then we proceeded to build out the real story of your business in a business model and initial plan. This again involved testing assumptions and key success levers.

We closed with some key observations on the importance of cash as the fuel for your business and making sure your “burn rate” is not so high that you overshoot your “runway.”

University of Washington students interested in digging deeper into market sizing, business models, and financial planning can join Steve, Cameron, and John Zagula for a Financial Planning Lab on Saturday, February 22 from 1 to 3 pm in PACCAR Hall 393. Click here to RSVP.


Resource Nights (ENTRE 440/540 Business Plan Practicum) are each Tuesday through March 10, 2020 from 6 to 7:50 pm in PACCAR Hall 192 (Shansby Auditorium). Can’t make it in person? Lectures will be recorded and the links posted to our website weekly. View the Resource Night schedule for links and complete listing of topics and guest speakers.


Tuesday, February 18 at 6:00 pm in PACCAR Hall, Shansby Auditorium (room 192)

In this session, we will cover realistic phases for your company, what legal structure your company should use, the right way to put a team in place (HR), and what to do when you first have evidence of success and the first check comes in the door.

We will be joined by Alex Modelski and Michael Rebagliati of Karr Tuttle Campbell. Mr. Modelski focuses his practice on counseling technology and non-technology clients in connection with a vast array of matters, including but not limited to: business formations, partnerships and joint ventures, acquisition and sale of private companies, multimedia and internet law, nearly all things intellectual property (copyright, trademark, licensing, patents, and more), and cannabis law.

Mr. Rebagliati is an associate in the firm’s Business & Finance and Emerging Company & Venture Capital practice areas. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Washington School of Law, where he was a student contributor to the Washington Corporate Act Revision Committee.

We will also be joined by Rebecca Lovell, Executive Director of Create 33. With more than 20 years of management and operating experience, and over a dozen years running and supporting startups in Seattle, Rebecca currently serves as Director at Create33, a founder center conceived by Madrona Venture Group. She was previously Director of the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, having progressed through leadership roles in the office, including serving as the City’s first Startup Advocate.

Prior to joining the City, she was GeekWire’s first Chief Business Officer, Executive Director of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, and Program Director of the Alliance of Angels. Having received her MBA from the UW Foster School of Business in 2006, she has served on their Employer Advisory Board since 2008, and is currently an instructor in entrepreneurship for their Technology Management MBA Program. She has been a committed Techstars mentor since their Seattle launch in 2010, is the Board Chair for the National Center of American Entrepreneurship, and was recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the top 100 women in tech and as “Do Gooder of the Year.”

Reminder, you can drop-in or catch the recording of this weekly course.


Apply for the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge by Noon on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at

Learn more about the Buerk Center student competitions at

Students can can apply to both the HIC and EIC! We see several student teams from around the region compete in one or both before advancing their idea beyond the prototype stage and setting themselves up for startup success in the Dempsey Startup Competition. Our competitions are open to undergrads and grad students at accredited colleges and universities across the Cascadia Corridor–Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia, as well as Alaska.